Samsung Unveils World’s First 108MP Smartphone Image Sensor

After launching a new 64-megapixel camera sensor earlier in May this year, Samsung announced a new 108-megapixel camera sensor. The world’s first 108-megapixel camera sensor for smartphones has been built by Samsung, in collaboration with Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi.

Both the companies had earlier teamed up for a new 64-megapixel smartphone that will use Samsung’s 64-megapixel ISOCELL GW1 sensor. Samsung believes the new, powerful sensor will allow smartphone users to take much better photographs.

Called the ISOCELL Bright HMX, the new sensor is a collaboration between Xiaomi and Samsung, and offers features, Samsung claims, that were so far reserved for high-end DSLR cameras. This includes a 108-megapixel maximum resolution for photos, and 6K (6,016×3,384 pixel) video recording at 30 frames-per-second. The sensor’s massive (for phones) 1/1.33-inch size allows it to have 0.8-micron pixels, just like Samsung’s 64-megapixel camera sensor.

Actually, you’re unlikely to ever need a photo with this high a resolution, so the sensor is also able to produce high-quality 27-megapixel images by combining groups of four pixels into one. That results in an image that’s a lower resolution overall, but it should mean it’s far brighter, helping low-light performance.

Meanwhile, the sensor is also equipped with what Samsung is calling its “Smart-ISO” technology, which will automatically adjust the sensor’s ISO levels to compensate for brightly-lit or low light environments.

“For ISOCELL Bright HMX, Xiaomi and Samsung have worked closely together from the early conceptual stage to production that has resulted in a groundbreaking 108Mp image sensor. We are very pleased that picture resolutions previously available only in a few top-tier DSLR cameras can now be designed into smartphones,” said Lin Bin, co-founder and president of Xiaomi. “As we continue our partnership, we anticipate bringing not only new mobile camera experiences but also a platform through which our users can create unique content.”

“Samsung is continuously pushing for innovations in pixel and logic technologies to engineer our ISOCELL image sensors to capture the world as close to how our eyes perceive them,” said Yongin Park, executive vice president of sensor business at Samsung Electronics. “Through close collaboration with Xiaomi, ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile image sensor to pack over 100 million pixels and delivers unparalleled color reproduction and stunning detail with advanced Tetracell and ISOCELL Plus technology.”

All of this goodness is coming to phones quite soon, as Samsung will begin mass production for the ISOCELL Bright HMX “later this month.”

In its recent announcement, Xiaomi offered no details on when it’ll launch the first 108-megapixel phone, but it’s quite possible that it will be the upcoming Xiaomi Mi Mix 4, which is likely to launch this fall.

More info on Samsung’s website.

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